Big Breaking: Juan Soto Reveals if Yankees Should Fire Aaron Boone

On Sunday night, after Rafael Devers gave the Red Sox the lead in the top of the seventh with his first of two late-inning home runs, Juan Soto ensured the Yankees still had hope.

In the bottom of the first, Soto pounced on a 3-0 fastball from Boston starter Kutter Crawford, who had been pitching well up to that point.

When he slipped safely into second base with a leadoff double, the Yankees were in business.

Aaron Judge, Alex Verdugo, and Anthony Volpe came up with the tying run at second base and no one out.

Soto advanced to third, but he was stranded in scoring position.

He watched Judge, who is now 2-for-20 in his previous five games, chase a pitch into the dirt for a strikeout. Verdugo grounded out on the right side. Volpe made good contact, but his line drive to left field hung up long enough for Tyler O’Neill to make the easy catch.

“You feel good about it whenever that part of the order comes up when Juan gets on,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “but it didn’t happen tonight.”

Sounds familiar?

On Friday night, after closer Clay Holmes blew a lead with a two-out, two-strike homer and Tommy Kahnle let up a go-ahead homer in the top of the tenth, the Yankees had an opportunity to save their bullpen.

Soto led off the bottom of the tenth inning with a single, advancing the automatic runner to third.

The Yankees’ three-through-five hitters also struggled there.

Judge struck out on the first pitch he saw. So did Verdugo. Oswaldo Cabrera, who had replaced injured second baseman Gleyber Torres, grounded out to conclude the game.

While the Yankees have statistically been one of the top teams in baseball with runners in scoring position this season, one of the reasons for their poor performance over the previous few weeks has been their inability to produce the big hit that they require the most.

This lineup no longer has the depth that it did earlier in the season.


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“Right now, we just gotta get that knock when we need it,” Soto stated following Sunday’s 3-0 defeat. “That is all. “We just have to capitalize.”

That was in answer to a query about what the Yankees’ offense lacks right now. Soto could easily have deflected. He could have attributed the loss to Crawford and Boston’s bullpen. Instead, he was frank and right on.

It wasn’t Soto’s only telling comment.

When Crawford was named, rather than praising the right-hander, Soto claimed that the starter committed mistakes and that the Yankees’ lineup failed to capitalize.

Soto was undoubtedly still kicking himself after his first at-bat of the night. He fouled out on a 1-0 pitch that split the center of the plate. But he was speaking to his team as a whole.

His prescription for turning this stretch around?

“I think we just gotta keep playing good baseball, man,” Soto told the audience. “Our starter (Luis Gil) threw the ball well today. We only need to score a few runs for him. I believe we have all we need; all we have to do is keep our chin up and come every day to grind.”

Again, a reminder that the offense needs to step up.

Since the start of this skid, in which the Yankees have now lost 16 of 22 games, commencing on June 13 when Holmes blew another save in Kansas City, the team has hit.223 with a.700 OPS (below the league average of.707 this season) and 102 wRC+. players figures, combined with the Yankees’ top-heavy lineup, highlight players in the bottom half of the order who aren’t producing, as well as the organization’s executive office.

The Yankees need Torres, Verdugo, Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu, and others to begin achieving offensive expectations. Except for Judge and Soto (and Ben Rice, who has only been in 18 games this season), everyone who played Sunday had an OPS below.700.

They miss Giancarlo Stanton’s presence at the center of the order. Losing Jon Berti to the injured list in May was also a huge setback.

Adding at least one impactful hitter before this month’s trade deadline should also be considered. This club currently has too many offensive deficiencies to be considered a legitimate championship contender. Even the magnificence of Judge and Soto is unable to carry the Yankees down the stretch.


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